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How can I improve ride comfort?

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by infernox, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. infernox
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    infernox New Member

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    Hello, I just bought an Audi a3 2008 1.4 TFSI sport a few months back and am looking to improve the comfort of the ride. I understand I may have made a mistake by buying the sport trim instead of the SE. It drives fine on local roads, you can feel some potholes but I am ok with that. I just took it on the motorway for the first time on saturday and at higher speeds it seems like you can feel the bad roads more. It came with 18" s-line alloys with low profile tyres if that helps.
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  3. crunchie
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    crunchie Active Member

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    By just putting the standard wheels back on you'll cure most of your comfort issues I'd think.
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  4. Boydie
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    Boydie Boycie VCDS Map User

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    Not much you can do I am afraid, Audi suspension is firm for a reason. Just going to have to get used to it.

    Maybe you could buy a coilover suspension kit with adjustable dampening to soften it for you but that is quite extreme!
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  5. fangio
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    fangio Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    16" wheels!
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  6. infernox
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    infernox New Member

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    The tyres are of size 225 40r18. Do you think getting different tyres of the same size could make a difference?

    Is the original tyre size 225 45r17? I'm guessing I would have to change the alloys if I go to this size.
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  7. MrLapou
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    MrLapou Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    ditto. 16" best and easiset/cheapest solution
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  8. a3Tex
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    a3Tex New Member

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    [Jan 20, 2014]
    I have 16" tyres on a 2.0 TDI 170 because I drive sensitive passengers and it's absolutely fine. Was running on the below average dual carriageway down in Cornwall at definitely no more than 70mph officer and it felt like I was doing 30.

    Outside of leathering it from standstill I've yet to feel like I'm driving quickly, the ride quality is superb and I've not had any complaints from the passengers either which is unheard of.
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  9. JohnE
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    JohnE 2005 A3 Sport 1.6 FSI

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    [Jan 21, 2014]
    I agree it's firm for a reason but I bet we don't agree on what the reason is. There are plenty of cars with excellent handing that don't do it at the expense of a boneshaker ride.

    That aside, OP, I am running 16" wheels after buying them from a member on here who got them to save his fillings after he bought an S-Line. My experience is that they have improved things a little, but the ride's more bouncy.

    I don't know about anyone else, but the kind of rutted cart tracks we have for A roads around here make such hard suspension extremely tiring, especially if you're pressing on a bit, so I don't consider the problem solved yet.

    I haven't been able to find definitive information, but I think the only difference is that the SE suspension has longer springs - so that could be a relatively inexpensive change - especially if you drop lucky on a set from what seems to be the majority of folk who are actually lowering their cars even more.
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  10. rezulteo
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    rezulteo Site Sponsor Site Sponsor

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    [Jan 22, 2014]
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  11. infernox
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    infernox New Member

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    [Jan 23, 2014]
    Went to a few garages to hear their opinion, which varied with each garage. One said to put 17 inch wheels on and another said to change the tyres to 45 or 50 profile height. One garage noticed the tread was different on each tyre and said getting the same tyre would improve ride comfort also. The cheapest option for me would be to change the tyres and keep the alloys/wheels the same but I'm cautious with changing the profile height as I read it could affect the speedo.
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  12. Gazwould
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    Gazwould Active Member

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    [Jan 23, 2014]
    I went from 205/55/16 to 235/45/17 recently, technically this is an oversize but it's what the alloys came with.

    The ride quality is better with the 17s possibly down to the volume of air ? I don't know the math.

    As for the speedo measured before and after with gps, with the 16s it under read and 17s is spot on, so more accurate.
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  13. c_w
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    c_w Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 23, 2014]
    I can't see how the ride would be better on 17s than 16s, even if they are 235/45s, the sidewall is still taller on the 16s. Could just be placebo.

    The SE suspension, on the older A3s around 2006 at least is really soft and the ride height looks a bit awkward to me. The Sport ride height is very good, looks just about right without looking too high or obviously low, the ride is pretty good but the damping tuning on the A3 is far from great and that is the key aspect of suspension. Going down to 17s will improve ride slightly and still retain a nice aesthetic look without going down to 16s which looks "small" on the A3.

    All that said, I had a standard S-Line with the 18" wheels and thought the ride was good and worth the trade off for the better/flatter handling. The Sport suspension is very soft for Sport suspension in terms of body roll.
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  14. Soot1
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    Soot1 Member

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    [Jan 23, 2014]
    18" rims and sport suspension don't help, higher profile tyres will help. I have 18" rims and S-line suspension and consider that quite firm and a bit uncomfortable on rough roads, they are getting worse, on non holed roads it's fine.
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  15. Gazwould
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    Gazwould Active Member

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    [Jan 23, 2014]
    A few variables. Compound hardness, tread depth, etc.

    There is nothing like those 1st few miles of a new modification to compare as after a week or so it then becomes the norm.

    I was was worried about losing ride quality, not that my Eibach with B4's are harsh, well happy with up sizing to the 17's.

    Did you know that the width and profile of a tyre isn't as true as you think ?
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  16. illogik
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    illogik New Member

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    [Jan 23, 2014]
    Koni FSDs. Got them on my A3 - love the ride AND performance.
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  17. infernox
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    infernox New Member

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    [Jan 24, 2014]
    That's strange. Sounds like your car had 17s before then got changed to 16s, so the speedo under read and now you're back with 17s.

    When you say thats what the alloys came with, do you mean you bought new alloys and they came with tyres? Looking on ebay I can see a lot of them do.

    I don't think I'll get new shock absorbers, I actually already need to change the rear tyres so it seems worthwhile to change all 4 tyres.
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  18. Gazwould
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    Gazwould Active Member

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    [Jan 24, 2014]
    I'm referring to my B5.5 Passat Sport, std is 16".

    It's well know a stock car under reads the true mph.

    I've only ever found going to a 225 45 17 + etc for it to become more accurate.
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  19. hollow
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    hollow Active Member

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    [Jan 24, 2014]
    swap the front seats for a nice comfy armchair ,maybe a shackletons ?
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